The second book in Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street series sees Lydia Hoffman, the owner of Seattle’s A Good Yarn shop, start a new knitting group with three women who create a sisterly bond.
Lydia wants to start a new knitting club for sock knitting as she is interested in how the new self patterning sock yarns can be used to create a quick knit project. Soon Lydia has three new students to teach; Elise, Courtney and Bethanne. Her new students join the class for very different reasons although they all seem to agree that sock knitting is a step beyond their capabilities.
Elise Beaumont is staying with her daughter Aurora, son-in-law and grandchildren temporarily as Elise has been the victim development which scammed her out of her life savings. With a pending lawsuit Elise has nowhere else to live. There is not much space about, but even less so when Elise’s estranged husband Maverick calls to stay for a few weeks. Elise is uncomfortable having Maverick so close; she cannot forget how he consistently gambled away their income when she had a young family to feed. So, Elise escapes to her knitting and avoids the tension at home by joining the knitting class.
Bethanne Hamlin has been signed up for the sock knitting class by her daughter Annie, who is concerned about her mother’s wellbeing. Bethanne has been dumped by Grant, her husband of twenty years, without warning on Valentine’s morning. Bethanne was so furious with Grant that she threw him out of their house. Now six months after their divorce settlement she is having second thoughts. She misses Grant. She is left trying to support their two children and she is finding it hard to survive financially. Bethanne also has to deal with Annie’s increasingly rebellious behaviour as Annie takes the divorce particularly hard.
Courtney Pulanski is an overweight teenager who has had to move in with her grandmother Vera whilst her father is working overseas. Courtney’s weight ballooned after her mother died in a freak car accident and is anxious about starting a new school and making new friends in her senior year. On the advice of her grandmother, she joins the sock knitting group. Making friends her own age, however, proves to be more difficult.
Lydia loves her sister Margaret, but they have a complicated relationship. When Lydia was diagnosed with cancer Margaret became jealous of how much time their father devoted to her. The success of A Good Yarn has seen them working hand in hand to make the shop run smoothly. But Margaret has been very tense and moody lately. Lydia doesn’t know what is wrong until her boyfriend Brad discovers that Margaret’s husband lost his job and Lydia is upset that Margaret wasn’t able to confide in her.
After some persuasion, Lydia has finally been won over by Brad Goetz, the handsome delivery man, and they gradually have become an inseparable couple. Brad is divorced and has an eight year old son Cody who dotes on Lydia. After battling illness for most of her life, Lydia finally feels she has a clean bill of health and finally found, what she believes is, true love with Brad. So, when Brad tells Lydia that his ex-wife wants to come back home again, Lydia is devastated. She misses Brad and Cody, but if this is what Brad wants, how can she deny him.
Each of the characters in the story has serious problems that they need to resolve. But A Good Yarn is a heart-warming tale that shows how good friendships should never be underestimated. The women in the knitting group soon come to become friends and help each other when in need. Bethanne’s daughter Annie becomes Courtney’s first friend her own age in Seattle and Elise helps Bethanne with ideas for her new business.
At times this book has real humour and at others there is genuine pain in the situations that the women find themselves in; for example when Courtney is dragged to a senior’s swimming session at the break of dawn.
However, this book was a little bit too similar to the first book in the series The Shop on Blossom Street for me. The resolution of Bethanne’s job search does strain credibility a tad and I also would have liked to have had more storyline about the knitters in the previous book.
The Blossom Street books are idealized versions of reality but what is so wrong with that? Debbie Macomber has a real knack of getting into the heads of different women and being able to relate to how they feel and what motivates them. Once again the knitters come to be friends in a very satisfactory way. I enjoyed A Good Yarn equally as much as the first book in the series. The new characters have very different issues to deal with and the author provides some good story lines along the way. A Good Yarn is a light read which doesn’t disappoint and you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one. The book includes patterns for knitting socks. I read this book on Kindle and will be reviewing the third book in the Blossom Street series in a couple of month’s time.